We sat down with Toiletries Amnesty Ambassador Ciara Richards to ask her 10 questions and find out how we can all make a difference with small changes to our lifestyle.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I work as a Marketing Manager for a publishing house called Future. I work on the Awards for lots of lovely brands. I recently moved back to the UK after living in Munich for a couple of years. I am so excited to be living in London surrounded by so many friends who I haven’t seen regularly for years! I live in Battersea with my neuroscientist boyfriend and our various houseplants, my current favourite being my basil plant which is 30cm tall!
2. How were you introduced to toiletries amnesty?
I met with the lovely Karen as we had lots of hair products that I wanted to donate and found Toiletries Amnesty after doing some research.
3. what would you like to see other poeple do to help?
Don’t fall into the trap of trend buying! Take a step back and think do you really need to add this into your skincare/beauty regime – if the answer after 2 days is still yes then go for it.
4. what lifestyle changes have you made to be kinder to the planet?
My partner & I eat a lot less meat than we were growing up and make a conscious effort to go more veggie and vegan (which is hard as we are both cheese fanatics).
5. What does it mean to you personally for people and companies to reduce their environmental impact?
Sadly companies hold a lot more power with their environmental impact than individuals and it is unfair for the pressure to be put to consumers to “do better”. For me personally, it would mean companies helping consumers be able to make better decisions for the environment without it being a big inconvenience to them.
6. Where do you see your industry making changes or what would you like to see them do to become more sustainable?
I think the Beauty Industry can make sure they are always using recyclable packaging, going down affordable refill options most importantly – not using lots of buzzwords to cover greenwashing.
7. What’s your favourite sustainable and affordable lifestyle/beauty tip that you’ve learned?
Shampoo bars! I had only ever thought of these as difficult to use and then when I went travelling rather than carrying bottles I tried out Ethique and fell in love – lasts really long, gets so soapy and smells lovely.
8. What are some of your favourite sustainable brands?
I’ve recently been invited to more weddings (tis the season!) I love the concept of Hurr as you can rent outfits from others without having to buy something you potentially might only wear once! I also discovered Counter Culture, who only sell sustainable/b corps, vegan beauty brands. It’s a great way of finding brands that resonate with you.
9. What does kindness mean to you?
Kindness has many definitions but I think giving someone “the time of day” is very kind as it is such an important commodity, I don’t think we realise how precious it is until it is too late.
10. Has hygiene poverty ever affected you or those around you?
The most direct version of hygiene poverty I have witnessed is the Tampon Tax. It is such an unnecessary pain that people who get periods have to go through, it really breaks my heart the amount of people we all know who can’t afford pads / tampons.
Kindness has many definitions. I think giving someone “the time of day” is very kind as it is such an important commodity, I don’t think we realise how precious it is until it is too late.